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Online Storytime

In a non-COVID year, Australian libraries present more than 120,000 storytime sessions for pre-schoolers, attracting over 3 million attendees. Storytimes provide happy and lasting memories of the book that is featured but they’re much more than simply reading a story. They encourage audience participation and are often accompanied by a related activity, all delivered by the friendly, skilled local library team.

Online Storytime was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic halting in-person library programming, including storytimes and author talks. Libraries needed to move programs online and with the help of authors, illustrators and publishers, Online Storytime helped us do just that.

And it’s good for the book industry too. Library storytime ‘on-demand’ provides a marketing opportunity for children’s books and their authors that money can’t buy. More people are being exposed to Australian books, and children want to own and read a book that they have discovered and now love.

In its first year, Online Storytime has strengthened book industry partnerships, engaged thousands of children and adults across the country and returned significant income to authors, illustrators and publishers.

Explore this website and find out about exciting opportunities including free online workshops, grants for libraries, new titles, regular news about children reading.

‘Online Storytime has allowed us to take stories beyond our physical spaces. Through the ALIA program, we have been able to share the magic of books and reading with a much wider audience, and this has opened a world of possibilities for our storytimes.’

Liz Khater

City of Canada Bay Libraries, NSW

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